2015: CB Damarious Randall
When Tramon Williams and Davon House departed via free agency a year ago, the Packers had a glaring weakness at cornerback. Sam Shields was locked in as the No. 1 and Casey Hayward would be expected to step up as the other outside option, but depth was an issue.
With the 30th overall pick the Packers surprised everyone with the selection of Damarious Randall, listed as a safety. The ultimate plan was to move him to cornerback and he exceeded expectations as a rookie. His four interceptions (one in postseason) was a team-high, and Randall made some key plays including the game-winning pass defense against San Diego.
With Randall and second-round pick Quinten Rollins, the Packers not only added depth at a premier position, but also selected players with star potential. The loss of Williams and House stung, but Thompson deserves a lot of credit for the way he fixed the need with younger, cheaper players with a ton of upside.
Randall’s season wasn’t perfect, and his blown coverage in the divisional round set Larry Fitzgerald on his way to all but send the Packers home. But you can’t get caught up on a rookie making an error after a season filled with positives.
Like Clinton-Dix in 2014, Randall was a home run pick.